As the Egyptian market lacked the presence of any public cloud provider, and the trend of building cloud solutions has spread worldwide and in the Middle East region, the service provider saw a golden chance in becoming the leader for implementing the first public cloud in Egypt, and providing innovative solutions for customers across the country.
A lot of customers lack the resources to physically expand an existing data center, build a new one, or manage the current one, which creates a huge obstacle in their business fulfillment. The service provider comes with his technical expertise, physical and human resources to fulfill this need and speed up the go to market for those customers by providing a secure, highly available, reliable, and scalable virtual data center, i.e. the public cloud service.
- Cloud Portal Solution Overview
The Cloud Solution functional requirements cover three main components:
1.1 Customer Facing Cloud Storefront – is what customers will see when they interact with the website online for acquisition purposes. The customers will use this site to browse, research, register and purchase products. It is the focal point of the customer’s interaction with the Cloud Solution. The goal is to increase utilization of the portal and, consequently, improve direct sales, improve the online conversion rate, and increase user registration.
1.2 Customer Facing Cloud Self Service – is what existing, authenticated and authorized customers will use to view their current service subscriptions and perform provisioning activities. Administration of specific subscription settings is delegated to the administration panel that each of each product / subscription provide.
1.3 Business Administration Portal – is what internal business users will use to administer the products / subscriptions sold through the storefront, create promotions and discounts, maintain business rules, preview the products before release, and publish products to the storefront catalog. The tool will also provide business users with select content management capabilities to maintain storefront content.
2. Catalogue description
2.1 Catalogue structure:
The product catalogue will support both stockable product (with inventory) and non-stockable subscriptions (infinite inventory that does not have to be managed).
The product catalogue defined in the Cloud Portal is the master catalogue for all products and subscriptions sold through the Cloud Portal Storefront.
The catalogue structure, the products, subscriptions, features, and inventory (for stock able products) is administered by internal business users through the Business Administration Portal.
2.2 Subscription and product list
The following subscriptions and product will be modeled in the Cloud Portal catalogue:
- Exchange as a Service
- SharePoint as a Service
- Online Shop
- Storage as a Service
- Software as a Service
- Infrastructure as a Service
2.3 Product features
All products in the product catalogue share a number of common generic features such as:
- Product / subscription name
- Short description
- Long description
- Thumbnail image
- Large image
- Billing product name
During catalog design, in addition to the generic features, a number of specific features will be added to better describe the product / subscription or to support provisioning activities.
The various features of Exchange as a Service subscription were divided into three main packages: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Similarly the SharePoint as a Service subscription features were grouped into five packages:
Collaboration, Content, Search, Site, and Enterprise.
2.5 Product or subscription bundles
Bundles are also kept in the product catalogue. A bundle is a collection of two or more products grouped together that has its own price.
Add-ons are products that are offered to customers that already own a subscription.
The catalogue will contain the following types of add-ons:
2.6.1 Storage add-on
The storage add-on will allow customers to increase the amount of storage for a subscription.
This is a generic add-on that will be available for the following subscriptions:
- Exchange as a service
- SharePoint as a service
- Web hosting
2.6.2 Number of users add-on
The number of users add-on will allow customers to increase the maximum number of users for a subscription.
The storage add-on will be able for the following subscriptions:
- SharePoint as a service
- Web hosting
2.6.3 Exchange specific add-ons
These add-ons are available only to customers with Exchange as a Service subscription.
220.127.116.11 Users and storage add-on
The users and storage add-on will allow customers to add additional users (mailboxes) and storage to an existing Exchange subscription.
18.104.22.168 Archiving add-on
This add-on will allow customers to add archiving capabilities to the current subscription or add additional archiving storage to an Exchange subscription that already has archiving capabilities.
22.214.171.124 Active synch add on
The active synch add-on adds synchronization capabilities (for mobiles) for an existing Exchange subscription.
3. Functionality summary
3.1 Cloud storefront
Figure 1: Main activities on Cloud Portal Storefront
The main activities the customer can perform through the Cloud Portal storefront are:
- Browse Cloud product and subscription catalogue
- Select a subscription, product, bundle or add-on
- Add / Remove subscription to / from cart
- Checkout order
- Payment – supported methods of payment are monthly bill, credit card, voucher and Point of Sale
3.2 Cloud Self Service Portal
The Self Service Portal enables subscription account holders to perform subscription and user management. Each subscription application (i.e. Exchange, Web Hosting) will expose its own control and administration panel.
The activities performed by the subscription account holder from the Cloud Self Service Portal include User Management and Access Management.
User Management activities
- Create (provision) a user
- Edit an existing user
- Delete an existing user
- Access management activities:
- Grant / Revoke subscription access
- Grant / revoke Admin privileges
3.3 Business Administration Portal
The Business Administration Portal is available to business users that will perform administration tasks related to:
- Catalogue administration
- Creation and editing of subscription, products, bundles and add-ons
- Creation and definition of promotions and discounts
- Publishing approved content to the cloud portal storefront
- Cloud Portal storefront content management
3.4 Back-end operations
In addition to activities performed by users throughout the Cloud Service Storefront and the Cloud Self Service Portal the following operations will be performed by the Cloud Portal as response to requests from external systems:
- Upgrade/Downgrade subscription
- Suspend subscription (requested by fraud / risk management)
- Disconnect subscription
- Delete subscription (data and users)
The service provider has created a new revenue stream by implementing the public cloud service, it has increased its portfolio of services, and became the pioneer in providing IT services in the region. Achieved fast ROI by utilizing their existing resources, increased IT responsiveness to the business, and simplified and automated IT management.
- vCloud Suite
- vRealize Operations
- vRealize Automation
- vSphere with Operations Management